Like a Thief

More and more I've been feeling drawn to this idea of a minimalist lifestyle. At first it started as a downsizing effort to just make house work bearable and to make more time in my life for the things that actually mattered, my kids. I'm one of the few parents out there that actually did enjoy playing with my kids, but I can't seem to connect when I'm inundated by a household brimming with overage. I'm like an electronic that's got frayed wires, sparking and connectivity goes in and out as I attempt to work without becoming fried.

Two years ago where I am today would have sufficed, I think. The goal is always changing shape. Home's face how it changes from day to day. That's why you think you'll never actually arrive. I think of myself a bit like Lara Croft in that I am constantly dodging obstacles and fighting my certain demise in piles, looking for that priceless treasure and trying to save my world from doom. Drama.

But today I have found myself enraptured by this YouTube channel of a mother of 10 who also homestead's and is minimalist. She got rid of all her kids toys. All of them. I was fascinated that this could actually be a thing and kids could actually thrive without a single toy for years. No TV, No tablets (1 laptop for school use), No video games, No toys, No clutter, No microwave even! I hate my microwave so this immediately appealed to me. I thought to myself People do this?! And Can it really be done?! The idea of a TVless existence has literally always excited me. Simpler times and all, you know? She encourages her children to make toys whenever they want to. This. So. Much.

I felt so inspired today and I almost audibly heard something click inside of my soul and possibly even angels sang a chorus above my head. This is what I want for my children, real freedom. I know they think the toys they love and are desperately emotionally attached to are the answer to life's greatest question what to do when I'm bored, but they're actually what steals like a thief in the night our children's creativity, imagination, and motivation to think outside of the plastic toys that do everything for them.

If you're interested in that video, here it is:

I say plastic, but really we own many many high quality wooden toys as well and I'm actually fine with keeping a few good quality toys. But the desire to reset and refresh and set back the clock to beginning of my motherhood remains there. The yearning that If I had just known better to start my children out better so that it wouldn't be a fight to change it now. Because mom guilt is real and it's always there in the back of our minds manipulating our decisions. We honestly want to make decisions that are in the best interest of our children's minds, hearts, and souls, but we get caught up in that question Am I stealing a piece of their childhood? Am I taking something precious from them? Even if you know better you've become accustomed, I have become accustomed. I don't want to cause tears and sadness over something that seems so trivial as a toy. But is it trivial in the end?

And how do you stop yourself from feeling like you're stealing something from your children? Like you're the bad guy. As if toys can't be rebought and replaced. As if it's something that will scar them for life. What age is it appropriate to start involving them in the decision of their possessions? Probably my 10 & 7 year old are at that point I would guess. So that's 2 out of 4 that I can still mold and maybe if I mold them correctly my two older children will come around to it?

I don't want to be that force that pushes any persons aside because I own the household. It is hard to make these kinds of decisions and maybe it's only hard for me because I know exactly what it feels like to have my things disappear without my consent or knowledge and I know what it's like to become attached to everything on such a core level that stuff starts to take on a "dear friend" personality in your head. So I want to tread lightly.

And then I look back on photos of my daughters room and I am saddened at what I thought was necessary for a 5 year old's bedroom. It was so packed full of stuff, there was always fighting over her keeping it clean, or rather not keeping it clean. I don't want that life. Now her bedroom is minimized and there's no fuss. She has a bed, her sister's crib, a small desk and minimal clothes. It's bright and clean, just as it should be. She can play in there and the mess is easily picked up.

This is what inspires me. Watching my daughter sit on her floor with her bin of barbies and a newly reloved jewelry box for her to organize their clothes in and that's all there is. Just her and her barbies, and her brother. But mostly her and her barbies. She can now happily sit there for hours.

And I sit here and ask myself Can I really do it? I really want to. I want my whole house to feel that way. I want my whole family to be healed from this time thief. I don't want to waste anymore hours shuffling things around from one place to the next or sorting out buckets of small random junk that I literally don't even know where it all goes. Pieces. There is a piece missing from pretty much everything in my house apparently. How about yours?

Here's the lesson I'm taking away from my thoughts today: Nothing is permanent. Any toy, etc can be replaced if we find down the road that it was truly beloved. How can I teach my children by action that it's OK to let go?

No comments:

Post a Comment